Proliferation of small arms, remains critical factor in armed conflict – GOC 7 Div

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By Joy Odor

The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 7 Division Nigerian Army and Commander Sector 1 Operation Hadin Kai, Major General Waidi Shaibu has affirmed that proliferation of small arms and light weapons remained a critical factor in armed conflict, displacement of people, and acts of terrorism.

According to him, small arms and light weapons also undermine peace, reconciliation, safety, security, stability and sustainable social and economic development, as outlined in the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development.

He disclosed this when the National Coordinator (NC), National Center for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, Major General Abba Dikko (rtd) paid him a courtesy visit at the Headquarters, 7 Division, Maimalari Cantonment, Maiduguri on Tuesday.

General Shaibu observed that the ongoing insurgency in the north east was partly fanned by the prevalence of small arms and light weapons in the region, occasioned by the numerous porous borders with neighboring countries.

The GOC opined that the porous borders, had several routes and pathways, some which even stretched all the way up to the Central African Republic, aiding the activities of criminals who dealt in the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.

He assured that the Division was always ready, committed and fully focused to supporting the Centre in any capacity required.

General Shaibu thanked the NC and his team for the visit and promised the delegation that the Division would fully cooperate with the Center to achieve its mandate in curtailing the influx of small arms and light weapons into the Country.

This, he narrated, would impact positively on the military’s efforts at decisively curtailing the ongoing insurgency.

Earlier in his address, Major General Abba Dikko (rtd) commended the Nigerian Army for its support and collaboration in containing the influx of small arms and light weapons into Nigeria.

General Dikko applauded the Nigerian Army for its commitment and diligence in helping the Centre rid the nation of small arms and light weapons through robust collaborative efforts, mutual synergy and proactive intelligence gathering.

He appreciated the Chief of Army Staff for the approval of land within the Cantonment for the construction of a facility for the Centre.

The NC revealed that the facility, which would be constructed by a reputable organization, would be capable of weapons construction and repairs, as well as reconstruction of damaged weapons, amongst others.

He also added that the Centre was currently scouting for talented artisans and craftsmen who would be empowered and absolved into the Center, in varying capacities.

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